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2023 Summer Reading Program Offerings

Youth, Family Program

General Audiences

About the performers

Comments about this show

Performance Calendar

Fees and Grant info


Music of Shakespeare's Time

Past Performances

All programs feature replica Renaissance instruments and commentary about the instruments and music selections.

Anne & Rob Burns as A Reasonable Facsimile present

A Musical Production For Children and Families


When it takes a village to wash a dog...

In this Renaissance “soap opera,” Anne and Rob share songs of various village folk, each of whom encounters the same bar of soap escaped from their dog's washtub. Rob and Anne sing and play songs from old England and Europe on copies of period instruments as they act the parts of town musicians Nan and Robin Piper, and others. Children learn about Renaissance village life and participate in the songs and action.

A Reasonable Facsimile's "The Soap That Got Away" has been seen by hundreds of children, and appreciated by grownups, too! A children's librarian wrote:

“Your program was enjoyable for any age. I felt the audience was really into your program. You communicated well with the children. Watching the reaction of the various ages I felt the adults enjoyed it as well. I rate your program wonderful! Thank you for coming to our library.”


A Concert for General Audiences


All Together!

The program title, "Tootle Ensemble," is a play on the French "tout l'ensemble," which means "all together." Anne & Rob Burns, the duo A Reasonable Facsimile, toot together on many instruments, including recorder, flute, crumhorn, shawm and bagpipe, along with string and percussion instruments. Anne and Rob have collected these instruments for years. They play lively dance music and songs from Renaissance England and Europe in various instrumental combinations.



Anne and Rob Burns each received a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Early Music from Oakland University. They specialize in the music of the Renaissance and the Colonial era as the duo A Reasonable Facsimile. They have received wide acclaim for their unique school and library programs.

Current fees

SHARE! Discount for two neighboring libraries booking music programs on the same day: subtract $50 each library. The libraries also split mileage and accommodations costs. Share with a library already on our calendar, or set up a new day.


Partial grants for our programs and travel expenses in Michigan may be available through the Arts & Humanities Touring Program. Contact the Michigan Humanities Council, 517-372-7770, for guidelines.


Look at A Reasonable Facsimile's online calendar. Then e-mail or phone us with your first and second choices of available dates and times.

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Dancers detail by Trent Design, 1996, after Pieter Brueghel the Younger [Bar of soap added!]